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Programs of the 
tmpioyment Standards 

U.S. Department of Labor 
Employment Standards Administration 

Pam ESA-1 (Rev. 
June 1987 



The Employment Standards 
Administration (ESA) has the 
authority to correct a wide range of 
unfair employment practices. 

Laws and regulations setting 
employment standards, providing 
workers' compensation to those 
injured on their jobs, and requiring 
Federal contractors and subcontractors 
to provide equal employment 
opportunity are among those 
administered and enforced by ESA. 

ESA is an organization of about 
4,000 employees, who are located in 
offices throughout the country to 
make the ESA programs as 
accessible as possible to the public. 
The Assistant Secretary of Labor for 
Employment Standards is 
responsible for ESA's activities and 
serves as its administrator. 

Although ESA was formed in 1971, 
its three component offices— the 
Office of Federal Contract 
Compliance Programs, the Office of 
Workers' Compensation Programs, 
and the Wage and Hour Division- 
have long-established identities of 
their own. 


The forerunner of the Office of 
Federal Contract Compliance 
Programs (OFCCP) was established 
in 1965 to administer Executive 
Order 11246. The Order calls for 
government-wide efforts to assure 
that Federal contractors and 
subcontractors or contractors with 
Federally assisted construction 
contracts do not discriminate against 
any employee or applicant for 
employment because of race, color, 
religion, or national origin, and that 
such contractors take affirmative 
action to hire and promote in a 
nondiscriminatory manner. In 1967 
the Executive Order was amended to 
also prohibit discrimination based on 
sex. OFCCP in its present form is 
the result of a consolidation of the 
contract compliance responsibilities 
of various Federal agencies; this 
reorganization took place in 1978. 

Two laws enacted by Congress to 
promote the employment of 
handicapped workers and veterans 
fall under OFCCP's jurisdiction. 
These are Section 503 of the 1973 
Rehabilitation Act and the affirmative 
action provision of the Vietnam-Era 
Veterans' Readjustment Assistance 
Act of 1974. These laws provide that 

Federal contractors and 
subcontractors must take affirmative 
action to hire and promote qualified 
handicapped people, Vietnam-era 
veterans, and disabled veterans of all 

Equal employment opportunity 
specialists conduct compliance 
reviews and investigate complaints to 
determine whether Federal 
contractors and subcontractors are 
meeting their obligations to provide 
equal employment opportunities for 
women, minorities, handicapped 
individuals, Vietnam-era and disabled 

All three programs are designed to 
identify employment discrimination 

and provide remedies for victims of 

Contractors and subcontractors 
who fail to take appropriate 
affirmative action or fail to remedy 
employment discrimination may face 
legal proceedings which could result 
in their debarment from government 
contract work or cancellation of their 




The Office of Workers' 
Compensation Programs (OWCP) 
began in 1916, when an organization 
was established to administer claims 
under the Federal Employees' 
Compensation Act. The office has 
existed since that time under various 

Under this Act, benefits are now 
available to about three million 
Federal white-collar and blue-collar 
employees, as well as to several 
other groups of workers brought 
under this Act through amendments, 
such as members of the Peace 
Corps and VISTA volunteers. 

OWCP also administers the 
Longshore and Harbor Workers' 
Compensation Act of 1927. This Act 
covers all maritime workers for job- 
related injury, illness, or death on the 
navigable waters of the U.S. as well 
as employees working on adjoining 
piers, docks, and terminals, plus a 
number of other groups of workers 
included through extension of the 
Act. Compensation, under this law, is 

paid by insurance carriers or by 
employers who are self-insured. 

Payment of black lung benefits 
under the Black Lung Benefits 
Reform Act of 1977, as amended, is 
the third major program administered 
by OWCP. It provides monthly 
payments and medical treatment to 
coal miners totally disabled from 
pneumoconiosis (black lung) arising 
from their employment in the nation's 
coal mines, or monthly payments to 
their surviving dependents. 


The Wage and Hour Division was 
established in 1938 to administer the 
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) 
which includes minimum wage, 
overtime pay, and child labor 

When the new law went into effect 
on October 24, 1938, only about 12 
million workers were covered. From 
this limited beginning, the Act's 
coverage of workers gradually has 
expanded. Over the half-century, six 
major amendments have been 
enacted to increase the minimum 
wage. Three amendments— those in 
1961, 1966 and 1974— also extended 
the Act's coverage to more workers, 
including some categories of 
employees of State and local 
governments. In 1985, as a result of 
the Supreme Court's Garcia decision, 
FLSA became applicable to 7.7 
million additional State and local 
government employees. 

Today over 73 million full-time and 
part-time workers in the private 
sector and in Federal, State and 
local governments are protected by 
the FLSA. 

The Wage and Hour Division's 
responsibility also has grown to 
include other laws and regulations 
which protect workers' wages and 
working conditions. 

Wage and Hour Division 
compliance officers across the 
country conduct investigations of 
employers covered by the various 
laws which the division administers, 
to determine whether workers are 

being paid in compliance with the 
laws. The division annually recovers 
tens of millions of dollars in back pay 
for workers who have been illegally 

The Wage and Hour Division is 
also responsible for laws setting 
wage and hour standards for Federal 
contractors. The Davis-Bacon Act 
and Related Acts require that 
covered construction workers receive 
at least the prevailing wages and 
fringe benefits paid on similar 
projects in the area. The Service 
Contract Act requires that prevailing 
wages and fringe benefits be paid to 
most employees working on Federal 
contracts principally for services, 
such as laundry and dry cleaning, 
maintenance and guard service. 

The Wage and Hour Division is 
also responsible for investigating 
complaints filed by employees who 
allege that their employers 
discriminated against them for 
actions they took to further the 
purposes of various environmental 
protection laws. 

Improving conditions for migrant 
farm workers is also an area of 
responsibility of the Wage and Hour 
Division. The Migrant and Seasonal 
Agricultural Worker Protection Act 
protects migrant and seasonal 
agricultural workers in their dealings 
with farm labor contractors, 
agricultural employers, agricultural 
associations, and providers of 
migrant housing. All persons and 
organizations subject to the Act must 

observe certain rules when 
recruiting, soliciting, hiring, 
employing, transporting, or housing 
these workers or when furnishing 
them to other employers. 

The Wage and Hour Division also 
investigates for compliance with 
recordkeeping requirements under 

the employer sanctions provisions of 
the Immigration Reform and Control 
Act. Employers subject to the Act 
have certain recordkeeping and 
reporting responsibilities 
documenting the legal employability 
of their workers. 


The ESA Office of Information and 
Consumer Affairs is responsible for 
informing the public about the 
programs administered by ESA. 

Program activities are publicized 
through various methods including 
press releases, feature stories, 
consumer fact sheets, and 

If you would like additional 
information on any of the ESA 
programs, contact the Director, ESA 
Office of Information and Consumer 
Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, 
Room C4331, 200 Constitution Ave., 
N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. 


To meet the needs of the public 
across the country, ESA has offices 
in more than 350 cities. These 
offices aid in the administration and 
enforcement of programs and 
provide direct access for those who 
have questions or complaints. Check 
your phone directory for a listing in 
your area. The addresses of our 10 
regional offices, and the States they 
serve, are: 


(Conn., Me., Mass., 

N.H., R.I., Vt.) 

JFK Federal Building 

Room 1612-C 

Boston, Mass. 02203 


(N.J., N.Y., Puerto 

Rico, Virgin Islands) 

201 Varick Street 

Room 750 

New York, N.Y. 10014 


(Del., D.C., Md., 

Pa., Va., W. Va.) 

3535 Market Street 

Gateway Building, Room 15230 

Philadelphia, Pa. 19104 


(Ala., Fla., Ga., Ky., 

Miss., N.C., S.C., Tenn.) 

1317 Peachtree St., N.E. 

Room 105 

Atlanta, Ga. 30367 


(III., Ind., Mich., 

Minn., Ohio, Wise.) 

230 South Dearborn Street 

8th Floor 

Chicago, III. 60604 


(Ark., La., N.M., 

Okla., Tex.) 

Federal Office Building 

525 Griffin Street 

Room 800 

Dallas, Texas 75202 


(Iowa, Kan., Mo., 


Federal Office Building 

911 Walnut St., Room 2000 

Kansas City, Mo. 64106 


(Colo., Mont., N.D., 

S.D., Utah, Wyo.) 

Federal Office Building 

1961 Stout St., Room 1490 

Denver, Colo. 80294 


(Ariz., Calif., Hawaii, 

Nev., Guam and various 

Pacific Islands) 

Federal Office Building 

71 Stevenson Place 

Room 930 

San Francisco, Calif. 



(Alaska, Idaho, Ore., 


Federal Office Building 

Room 4141 

909 First Avenue 

Seattle, Wash. 98174 

U. S. Department of Labor 
Employment Standards Administration 
Washington, D.C. 20210 

Official Business 

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